## Ugly Duck

Jan 7, 2019

Box shadow on HTML elements has been widely supported across most browsers for a while now, but I find the default options don’t allow for much visual manipulation of the shadows in general.

Let’s take a look at a default configuration of box-shadow:

.box-container {
}


In the example above the first property number is the origin of the x-axis, the second number is the origin of the y-axis and the third is the amount of blur.

We should also add some minimal styling to cleanup the .box-container a little bit for our example:

<div class="box-container"></div>

.box-container {

/* Styles to make it less ugly */
background: white;
border: 1px solid #eee;
height: 200px;
position: relative;
width: 250px;
}


Which would render as this:

Not bad - but we can do a lot better than this.

## Please sir, I want some more (depth)

We just need to add a simple child div (or use a pseudo element if you prefer) inside our main element we want to apply the shadow to:

<div class="box-container">
<div class="box-container-inner"></div>
</div>


Now we make our inner child element absolute and set it’s height and width dynamically to be slightly smaller than it’s parent (percentages work best for this). Remember to set this child element behind it’s parent by adding z-index: -1.

.box-container {
/* No box-shadow needed on this element anymore */
/* Styles to make it less ugly */
background: white;
border: 1px solid #eee;
height: 200px;
position: relative;
width: 250px;
}

.box-container-inner {
bottom: 0;
height: 94%;
left: 3%;
position: absolute;
width: 94%;
z-index: -1;
}


Which will make the drop-shadow render with a little more realistic depth:

## But wait - there’s more!

We could stop now and have a decent drop-shadow that is certainly easier on the eyes - but we can make this even better with one extra property - filter:blur();.

So your final code would look like this:

.box-container {
/* Styles to make it less ugly */
background: white;
border: 1px solid #eee;
height: 200px;
position: relative;
width: 250px;
}

.box-container-inner {
bottom: 0;